Apple's iBooks and integrated iBookstore is now available for pre-download from the iTunes App Store [Free - iTunes link]. Due to licensing and the other insanities that keep publishing in the dark ages, it's US only for the time being, and while its purported 60,000 ePub-format catalog isn't the biggest, the integration with Project Gutenberg and ability to pull in other free ePub content will certainly keep you busy while Apple keeps ramping it up.
iBooks requires the just-released iTunes 9.1 to manage and sync iBooks ePub and DRM-free ePub content, so make sure you're all up to date. Then get reading and let us know how the experience compares to Amazon's Kindle, Sony's eReader, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and -- why not! -- one of them paper and ink real book jobbies!
iTunes 9.1's Album View provides an easy way to sort your universal binaries (iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad) apps from your iPhone and iPod touch only, and iPad only apps by separating them out in just that order.
If you're not sure how to get to Album View, it's the middle button of the three view icons immediately left of the search box, the one that looks like two rows of three squares. The icon to the left of it is List View, to the right of it is CoverFlow. See the picture above.
It's a small touch but a nice one for those of us who fret about just such organization minutia.
SHAPE Services, who you may know from IM+ or Business Card Reader for the iPhone shared some screenshots of their upcoming apps with us, including: IM+ for iPad, RDM+ for iPad, and iDisplay.
IM+ is, of course, their popular instant messenger app for the iPhone scaled up for the big 1024x768 pixel iPad screen. Supports MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk, AIM, Jabber, ICQ, Facebook, MySpace, Skype and Twitter.
RDM+ is Remote Desktop for Mobiles, which will let you access your PC, even through NAT and Firewalls. Just imagine sitting at your sofa with your office or den computer magically held in your iPad display.
iDisplay, which will follow later, lets you turn your iPad or iPhone into a an extra Mac side monitor. A universal binary, it will automatically detect if you're running it on iPad or on a smaller iPhone or iPod touch screen, and let you span your desktop to fill the extra space. Think of it as a dual display, only you don't have to buy another screen -- just use your Apple mobile!
While anything can change between now and Saturday, we hope to see at least a couple of these apps on the iPad ASAP.
If you were wondering exactly what sites out there are geared specifically for iPad without Adobe's Flash, be sure to visit the new page that Apple has created which displays all of the current "iPad ready" websites.
Time Magazine has given their April 12, 2010 cover to Steve Jobs, and features a massive interview of Apple's CEO alongside design SVP Jonathan Ive, marketing SVP Phil Schiller, and internet (iTunes, MobileMe, App Store) SVP Eddy Cue by none other than Stephen Fry. (He also talks to publishers, educators, developers, and more).
CNET is reporting that Apple is planning to unveil their iTunes music streaming service at least by the third quarter of this year. After Apple acquired Lala back in December, it was rumored that the company was entertaining the idea of a streaming music service that would allow users to back-up and access their music library from any device with internet connectivity.